Book Review “The Poison Machine” by Robert J. Lloyd


Historical Novel

Series Book 2

Length 463 pages

Publisher ~ Melville House


London, 1679 — A year has passed since the sensational attempt to murder King Charles II, but London is still a viper’s nest of rumored Catholic conspiracies, and of plots against them in turn. When Harry Hunt — estranged from his mentor Robert Hooke — is summoned to the remote and windswept marshes of Norfolk, he is at first relieved to get away from the place.

But in Norfolk, he finds that some Royal workers shoring up a riverbank have made a grim discovery — the skeleton of a dwarf. Harry is able to confirm that the skeleton is that of Captain Jeffrey Hudson, a prominent member of the court once famously given to the Queen in a pie. Except no one knew Hudson was dead, because another man had been impersonating him.

The hunt for the impersonator, clearly working as a spy, will take Harry to Paris, another city bedeviled by conspiracies and intrigues, and back, with encounters along the way with a flying man and a cross-dressing swordswoman — and to the uncovering of a plot to kill the Queen and all the Catholic members of her court. But where? When?


As the follow up to The Bloodless Boy I was really expecting to enjoy The Poison Machine and I absolutely wasn't disappointed. The perfect historical mystery that has a pace that holds your attention throughout. It is certainly a book that makes you think and I actually feel like I learn something when I read a Robert J Lloyd book. He clearly researches his facts and loves to then share with his readers through his creative writing. He brings his characters to life brilliantly. They are all believable, complex and fabulously thrilling. 
The atmospheric feeling that runs through the entire book really draws you in to the seedy underworld of London in contrast to the opulence of the Queens Court.. I loved it. I am a bit of an Historical Novel geek and I lapped up every single word. Harry is a unstoppable force and is determined to get at the truth no matter what. 
With intrigue and suspense a plenty I can honesty say if you are a lover of historical novels, ones that are spot on with the characterisations and with a plot line that is thrilling until the last page then Robert J. Lloyd is absolutely the author for you.

With thanks for the advance copy to ….

Nikki Griffiths @Melville Publishers

Robert J. Lloyd